While we’re still enjoying the London summer Olympic games, us gamers also have even more exciting competition to look forward to next week. Starting August 9th, The 2nd World Mind Sports Games will be held in Lille, France. Athletes (players) from around the world will gather for events that include Bridge, Chess, Draughts, and Go.
You will also be happy to know that for these games the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) has adopted the World Anti-Doping Code [PDF], which requires drug testing of athletes. Yes, the Code’s list of prohibited substances includes steroids, but it also includes drugs that very well could be used to the advantage of mind-sport athletes. As explained to me by Paolo Walter Gabriele, Professor of Neurology at the Univeristy of Cassino and Chairman of the IMSA Medical Commission:
Ritalin (methylphenidate HCl) and Adderal (amphetaminesalts) are drugs used for ADHD in some Countries for their psychostimulant effects. However, some believe that increased cognitive activity (students, workers of the mind, etc..) and so consider them ‘smart drugs’. It should be stressed that the use of these substances often leads to serious side effects and therefore should not be used lightly. World Mind Sports games will be held according to the rules of WADA, which considers both doping and prohibited substances in competition. Doping tests will be performed to verify the correctness of the competition and compliance with the rules of WADA.
IMSA did not comment when asked about measures to prevent other forms of cheating, such as computer assistance.
Sportsmen, sportswomen, but not athletes. :)
For a moment there I was picturing Porsche 956s…
That’s what IMSA calls them, “athletes”: